Richard was born George Richard Chamberlain on the 31 March 1934 in Beverly Hills, right in the shadow of Hollywood. He went to Beverly Hills High School, but was untouched by the acting bug until later on, in Pomona College, outside Los Angeles. There, he majored in Applied Art and was gradually drawn to the College theatre groups. In high school and college athletics he excelled in many track events. On graduation, he began to make the rounds of the studios, but soon found himself in uniform instead, and served two years in Korea, emerging with a set of sergeant's stripes.
Back in Los Angeles, he found himself an actor's agent and again began making the rounds of the studios. Richard drifted into occasional roles on such shows as "Gunsmoke" playing "Pete" in the episode "The Bobsy Twins" and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" playing "Clay Pine" in the episode "Road Hog". He managed, in an obscure way, to make a living and to cram in some acting lessons in his free time, of which he then had no shortage.
Meanwhile, back at MGM, the studio was preparing a television version of "Dr. Kildare," one of the studio's most successful movie properties, and having already decided upon Raymond Massey to play the role of Dr. Gillespie, was on the lookout for a promising young star for the title role. Richard Chamberlain was called in, and shortly thereafter, both he and the "Dr. Kildare" series became an overnight sensation.
Years later he gave a memorable performance as a priest in TV's "The Thorn Birds," starring opposite Rachel Ward, and became the king of the TV mini-series.
Currently he lives at his Hawaiian island home on Oahu, where he has settled permanently. There he has become passionately involved with the environment and the Hawaiian people, whose health and way of life have been seriously threatened by the increased pressures of tourism.